gamma     Fri, Apr 17, 2009  Permanent link

“Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. Human teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master. Doing so, they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society”.

I cannot explain the fact that it is again 2AM, a time for my best futuristic pajamas. I have a nostalgic, edgy and exciting feeling associated with good lectures, movies and road of self education. I usually sense more "soul" in the self-education. Also, in every way I like to remember the school, and friends who did try to learn all crafts, all courses, languages, music, obtaining certificates?, speed studies...

My practical results are telling me that despite school and college, there are major portions of my interests in science that remain untrained. For example, I studied math a lot, and yet looking at fractal geometry for example, I see it is rather new and hard topic. Here comes the point. My amateurism stays, remains and it looks and feels wild. Self-learning has tracks going under official education, which is socially transmitted and organized education.

If we write down rules found along each track, we see that patterns of self-teaching are similar to what was occurring in other uncivilized people long ago. Public education is another pattern, potentially disproportionate OFFICE BUILDING OF SOCIETY. We can find common agreement in some pattern.

There was some smart lady at John Stewart's yesterday talking about economy. She sounded like she had certain extreme level, a rose of winds assembling in her head, extreme level of truthfulness about things. She needed that accuracy to be able to talk.

To integrate relevant information from different tracks, I memorize history of certain story (tracking evolution of story) and sorted lists. Our mental space should not feel like differing qualities of disproportionate education tracks. I would suggest we should accept that experiences are happening right now and being integrated now (power of now) within us. It is guidance in form of advice for taking information in without estimating importance by standard of fragmented being. That makes me important immediately and you should start listening to me, because outside of now there is no special, official time for watching brilliance. :-)

I believe that if we want to know tips and trick today, we must learn it from previously established examples, by tutoring and official work groups, classes. It saves time and lives.

(Mental space is more dynamical than physical space.and therefore it is a super set of ordinary space, although ordinary space is holding substantial complexity.)
rene     Sat, Apr 18, 2009  Permanent link
I just noticed on Twitter that one of my favorite SC contributors, Spaceweaver, whose vision for the future covers a wide expanse of inquiry calls himself a Future Renaissance Being, giving as his location The Mind. A description that fits him perfectly.

meika     Sun, Apr 19, 2009  Permanent link
Of course, if one is a failed polymath then one is really bad at too many things, failure on many levels is hard to bear, to be a polymath one must be resilient on many levels.

And hopefully a post-scacity economy will be able to deliver the time to do all this. Anti-terrorism seems to be the main brake on this at the moment.

But at base, it all gets back to childcare.

It always does.
rene     Wed, Apr 22, 2009  Permanent link
Always good to get your input Meika. However, being a polymath is also a very good survival strategy in a world where almost everyone has several careers and having just one profession is rapidly becoming a liability. As computer programs are seriously challenging people's traditional ideas about craft and specialization, cross-disciplinary thinking has become more important than ever. Like the web, a Montessori education is an invitation for people to become generalists. Just to be sure, it's important to realize that besides early childhood education the Montessori system extends to high school education as well.

But I do agree that a lot goes back to childcare. What's so surprising is that the simplest interventions can have world-transforming impact. For example, Friedrich Froebel's method that preceded Montessori, based itself around educational games and a set of wooden blocks influenced effected the early childhod of architects Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as painters Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian and George Braque. Now think about their work and contemplate for a moment how relatively easy it appears to be to profoundly change the world.
meika     Fri, Apr 24, 2009  Permanent link
so polymath would really be a polymath rather than an everythingman
Olena     Sun, Aug 23, 2009  Permanent link
Thank you for this post.
Strangely, I read & commented on "Underground Castles..." before 'accidentally' coming upon this. Again, the Renaissance Man idea.
I really appreciate this; when I was younger, ever since I had learned of the idea of a Renaissance Man in grade school I had some notion that it was what I wanted to be. Now, I'm glad to be a part of this community of polymaths.

Also on that note; thanks for mentioning Montessori - hadn't heard of her before this, but I think our public school systems are definitely missing out on implementing her ideas, as you said.
Unfortunately it only hit me now, while in University: I know nothing. This year alone, I've read & researched more (on my own, making up for lost time) than I did over four high school years, & I loved every minute of learning. There's something amiss with that, isn't there? I wish the focus had been on actually learning back then - to captivate the mind, rather than just prepare it to be an automaton that scores well on tests.

It also ties into Fuller's question - “If success or failure of the planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do… How would I be? What would I do?”.
Wouldn't we be better off in a society of people who knew how to reason?